Here is a rustic recipe akin to a cobbler that is a great way to use fresh figs, which are in season now.
After cutting the raw figs in half, you will need a food processor and blender.
Danny Meyer and Michael Romano included this recipe in their cookbook "Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe" (Harper Collins, 2001).
Romano says in the book that this also can be done in individual ramekins if desired.
Though the recipe calls for just a dusting of confectioners' sugar on top, this is also good topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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Fig and Walnut Crostata
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Cooking oil spray
1¼ pounds fresh figs (about 18 to 20 small figs), stems trimmed, cut in half lengthwisse
1 cup walnut pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Light coat at 12-inch, straight-sided tart (or similar) pan with cooking oil spray.
2. Arrange the fig halves in the pan, cut side down, packed closely together in one layer. If the figs are quite plump, press the fruit down gently to leave enough space on top for the walnut topping. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.
3. For the topping, place the walnuts and flour in a food processor and grind to a fine but slightly gritty powder, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed, scraping the bowl down occasionally, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Reduce speed to low and add the walnut-flour mixture and salt, mixing briefly until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and fold the batter a few times to blend thoroughly.
5. Use a spatula to spread the batter over the figs in an even layer, about ½ inch thick. Or use a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip to pipe the batter, starting at the outer edge and working in a spiral pattern. The batter should just barely reach about the rim of the tart pan - it will rise in the oven.
6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the walnut topping is a deep golden brown and the fruit juices are almost bubbling through the top. Serve warm, dusted with confectioners' sugar.
Recipe from "Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe"
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